[Seoul] There are many instagrammable cafes and dessert places around the world, but Seoul brings it on a different level all together.
Industrial-chic? Café Onion at Seongsu-dong is more than just its cement floor and unfinished; there is a roof-top dining area and many of the customers dining there are quite fashionable.
While latte art and even 3D coffee art can be more fanciful and appealing, C. Through Cafe 씨스루’s barista paints Starry Night and Mona Lisa over coffee.
And there is that Zapangi *secret* café hidden behind a pink vending machine – which I think cafes in other cities may follow suit. Can it get more quirky than that?
Here are some of the 10 Most Instagrammable Cafes In Seoul: ( I know there are more, which means I probably need to make a trip back soon.)
Café Onion 카페 어니언
8 Achasan-ro 9-gil, Seongsu-dong 2ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Seongsu Station Line 2, Exit 2)
서울 성동구 아차산로9길 8 (성수동2가)
Tel: +82 70 7816 2710
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Fri), 10:00am – 10:00pm (Sat – Sun)
Google Maps – Café Onion
Spells “Industrial Chic” All Over
The Seongsu area around Seoul Forest has earned the reputation of being the “Brooklyn of Seoul”, with cafes such as Daelim Warehouse, Zagmachi, or.er, Café Cow&Dog being hangout places for the hip and young Koreans.
Café Onion itself which has fast become a popular landmark of the area, is converted from a metal factory. It was previously a supermarket and restaurant, built in the 1970s.
Food wise, Cafe Onion serves up bread from the famed Bread 05 Bakery, with over 20 varieties to choose from all freshly baked in-house.
The most popular choice would be the Pandoro (5,000 Won), an Italian-style bread covered in powdered sugar. Café Onion (Seongsu-dong, Seoul)
The Skyfarm – All Day Fresh Kitchen
28-1 Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Heogwan 50th and 51th Floor, Seoul, South Korea (Yeouido Station Exit 2)
서울특별시 영등포구 여의도동 28-1 전경련회관 50, 51F
Tel: +82 2 2055 4442
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 11:00pm (Mon – Sun), Rest-time/Break 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Last Order 9:30pm
Gorgeous Cafe In Seoul With Han River View
While Café Onion at Seongsu-dong is all about industrial-chic, The Skyfarm at Yeoeuido-dong is at another level all together.
“Another level” can also be taken literally, as the dining area is located on Level 50 and 51 of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) building.
The Skyfarm is appropriately named, stunningly designed with glass heavily used, decorated with greenery. As you walk in, you would notice this cottage-like area designed like a farm.
All Day Fresh Kitchen focuses on serving breakfast and brunch items from all around the world. More correctly said, it should be inclined towards the European region.
Food offerings include Croque Monsieur (19,000 Won), Baguette French Toast (21,000), Huevos Rancheros (21,000), Spanish Omelette (22,000 Won), Shakshuka (23,000 Won), and mains of Blue Crab Rose Linguini Piccole (28,000 Won), Truffle Black Risotto with Scallop (28,000), King Prawn Tomato Linguine (26,000 Won), and Langoustine Paella (38,000 Won).
Reservations is A MUST. The Skyfarm (Yeoeuido-dong, Seoul)
Works Of Art On Coffee Created By Charming Korean Oppa Barista
C.Though has been on my to-go list for one particular reason – the hand-drawn lifelike “Cream Art” created by Korean barista Lee Kang Bin (@leekangbin91).
The basic design Cream Art (7,500 KRW, SGD9.40) is an espresso shot covered with a layered of cream for the barista to work his drawing magic.
My order was a cherry blossom tree (10,000 KRW, SGD12.50) which turned out incredibly lifelike and visually appealing.
Ranging from drawing animals, flowers, pokemon, Korean artistes to even art compositions like Mona Lisa and Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, the barista demonstrates artistic flair and creativity – and is quite charming to the Korean girls. C. Through Cafe 씨스루 (Itaewon, Seoul)
524-22, Gangnam-gu, Sinsa-dong, Seoul, Korea (Near Sinsa Station Exit 8)
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm Daily
Google Maps – Cafe Mula
Fashionable Cafe At Sinsadong Seoul
The fashion store cum café is well-known for its minimalistic façade and attracts guests who looked like they stepped out of Korean dramas.
One of the reasons why Café Mula is so popular among the locals is also its inviting interior and service. The servers were attentive even when the cafe was super packed with guests.
Café Mula only serves up 2 desserts – Classic King Size Tiramisu (7,000 Won, SGD8.75), and Green Tea King Size Tiramisu (8,000 Won, SGD$10).
The Tiramisu is called “King Size” for a reason. It came like a thick brick, staying firm, yet so velvety smooth as the spoon went through it. Cafe Mula 카페뮬라 (Sinsadong, Seoul)
Café MILD 마일드
54-5 Jayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Konkuk University Station Exit 6)
대한민국 서울시 광진구 자양동 54-5
Tel: +82 70 8839 2507
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 9.30pm Daily
Google Maps – MILD
Minimalist Café, At Gwangjin Seoul (Near Common Ground)
For those who plan to go to Common Ground, the hip container street market for fashionable clothes, food trucks and OOTDs, Café MILD would be a convenient stop before or after since it is located within the same district of Gwangjin.
From the white walls, pillows and linen-lined communal bench to the wooden tables and stools, the design is kept simple and pleasant to the eye.
Just like the interior, the menu here was just as minimal, with only a sandwich, salad and cake as food options along with a range of coffees and teas for drinks.
One of the most commonly ordered drink here was the Cream Cappuccino (5500 Won, SGD6.60) so I had to get that.
It was essentially an iced cappuccino topped with cream, which I was initially sceptical of. But the mildly sweet and light cream, when paired with the cappuccino, was strangely refreshing and made the coffee less acidic. Café MILD 마일드 (Gwangjin, Seoul)
Anthracite Coffee Roasters
240 1st floor – 3rd floor, Itaewon Road, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 02 797 9009
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Thurs), 10:00am – 11:00pm (Fri – Sun)
Google Maps – Anthracite Coffee Roasters
Industrial Chic Cafe At Itaewon Seoul
Anthracite Coffee Roasters at Itaewon is one of those cafes *with the feels*.
Both its exterior and interior with industrial-chic vibes were charming (and instagrammable), which could easily make it to one of those Kinfolk magazines spreads. It has “gorgeous” written all over.
This café is one of three branches of the Anthracite Coffee Roasters roastery café chain based in Seoul. The Itaewon branch is also 3 stories, and is considerably large.
The café also sells an assortment of pastries and cakes which are baked by an inhouse pastry chef each and every day.
Items range from Greentea Financier (1,900 Won), Lemon Madeleine (1,900 Won), Orange Pound Cake (3,800 Won), Choco-Fig Pound Cake (4,000 Won), Matcha Tiramisu (6,000 Won), Banan Cake (5,000 Won) and Brownie (3,000 Won). Anthracite Coffee Roasters (Itaewon, Seoul)
Line Friends Flagship Store Itaewon
200 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (a short walk from Itaewon station Exit 3)
Tel: +82 02 790 0901
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Sun – Wed), 11.30am – 11:00pm (Thurs – Sat)
Google Maps – Line Friends Flagship Store Itaewon
The Largest LINE Store In The World At Itaewon, Seoul
While I will admit I am not THAT much of a LINE fan, the set-up and attention to details was impressive – large and spacious interior, many comfortable seats and spots ideal for chilling, as well as multiple themed photo zones.
There was even a bus-stop, barber shop and meeting room!
Fans of popular LINE characters can take pictures against cool backdrops with life sized versions of their favourite LINE characters, whilst enjoying a light afternoon snack or tea. LINE Friends Flagship Store & Café (Itaewon, Seoul)
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Seoul
34, Apgujeong-ro 10-gil Gangnam-gu Seoul (Sinsa Station Exit 8, Line 3)
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat – Sun)
Google Maps – Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Seoul
Must Have Cruffin And Brioche Donut At Gangnam-gu Seoul
It is after all Mr. Holmes Bakehouse first overseas outlet outside of San Francisco. The name comes from the owner’s mother’s cats by the way – one’s called Sherlock, the other Holmes.
Many Korean girls and couples were seem posing with pastries under the neon sign ”I got Baked in Seoul”, rather iconic for its Instagram purpose. (Go search the geotag photos on IG to see what I mean.)
Cruffins are limited to two per customer, and changes flavour every single day – anything from earl grey, passion fruit, white choco, mango, hazelnut & dark choco, and mint choco. (seem similar to how Dominique Ansel Bakery market their cronuts.) Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (Apgujeong-ro, Seoul)
Thanks Nature Cafe
486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Hongik University Subway Station)
마포구 서교동 486 서교푸르지오상가 B121, Seoul, South Korea 121-842
Tel: +82 2 335 7470
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Thanks Nature Cafe
Sheep Cafe at Hongdae Seoul, For A Baa-Baa-ry Good Time
Located close to the Hongik University’s campus in the trendy neighborhood of Hongdae, Thanks Nature Café 땡스 네이쳐 카페 or also known as the Sheep Café is the only place in Seoul where you can eat banana-strawberry waffles in the company of two fluffy sheep.
They were kept in a sheep pen that is separated from the Thanks Nature Café, so you do not have to worry about sharing your fruit soda with them. However, there was the ‘smell of nature’ which I did not quite mind. Thanks Nature Café (Hong Dae, Seoul)
400-2 Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 325 8185
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm
Google Maps – Zapangi
Pink Café With Vending Machine Door
Seems like this “secret” café is not so secretive anymore. Zapangi Café is hidden behind a fake vending machine, thematically decorated in pink.
The interior is also in millennial-pink.
The popular items include Milk Tea (5,500 Won), Soy Milk Tea (6,000 Won) and Tin Cakes coming in flavours of coffee, cherry, mango, blueberry and melon (7,000 Won).